The Columbus Crew held off 10-man Colorado Rapids 2-1 at home to create separation in the standings from a creeping Philadelphia Union.
While Columbus continues to tread about the playoff line, Colorado is now winless in its last six matches.
The Crew open up scoring with a quiet goal in the first 20 minutes of play against Colorado. Midfielder Justin Meram slotted a ball to Federico Higuain, who quickly back-heeled a ball into the box. Forward Gysai Zardes hit a one-hit shot over the diving Rapids goalkeeper Tim Howard for the opening goal. Zardes is a goal away from a career-high 17 goals.
Less than ten minutes after the Columbus goal, defender Josh Williams tripped up a Rapids player 10 yards outside the penalty box. Four Rapids player gathered around the ball for a free kick. Instead of discussing tactics, Colorado forward Shkelzen Gashi caught the Crew's line off guard and scored the equalizer.
In a equally physical start to the second half, defender Deklan Wynne challenged Santos from behind. The referee immediately showed Wynne a red card motioning his knee upward to mimic what he saw from the challenge. The call changed the pace toward The Crew's favor.
Shortly after the foul, captain Wil Trapp lobbed a ball from midfield to the waiting Artur. The midfielder drew Howard out of the goal, but opted for the pass instead of taking the shot. Higuain took advantage of the open goal and slotted in Crew SC's winning goal.
Columbus quietly managed a tired Rapids side for the remaining 30 minutes to come away with all three points, giving the Crew four points of separation from the Union.
- 17' – CLB – Gyasi Zardes
- 26' – COL – Shkelzen Gashi | WATCH
- 57' – CLB – Federico Higuain